Etihad, Qatar Airways to let barred passengers back on U.S. flights

(Reuters) – Gulf carriers Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways said on Saturday they will allow passengers barred from the United States by President Donald Trump’s executive order to board U.S.-bound flights after a federal judge blocked the move.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has advised both airlines they can board travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and all refugees who had been banned under the order, the airlines said.

“Acceptance will naturally be subject to checks completed by U.S. authorities as existed prior to the issuance of the Executive Order on 27 January,” an Etihad spokesman told Reuters in emailed comments.

A Qatar Airways spokeswoman confirmed the airline was again accepting all passengers with valid travel documents.

Trump’s suspension on the entry of nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and all refugees caught airlines off guard, with some carriers forced to re-roster flight crew in order to abide by the order.

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